KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 10, 2011) - A variety of language tools to increase the knowledge and use of the Secwepemc language will be made available online to Aboriginal communities, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The funding will enable the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society (SCES) to digitize its language tools and build an online language library. The Society will also produce virtual tours of traditional and contemporary Secwepemc sites. The virtual tours will include descriptive audio tracks in the Secwepemc language, along with English subtitles. Both the digital library and the virtual tours will be available free on the SCES website.

"Aboriginal organizations play a pivotal role in the preservation and transmission of Aboriginal languages from one generation to another," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is committed to safeguarding these languages, and we are pleased to support organizations such as SCES in their efforts to enhance them."

"One of the keys to transmitting a language is ensuring it is seen and heard as a living language," said Ms. McLeod. "By increasing the number of learning tools available to communities and making the resources easily accessible on the Internet, the SCES is making an important contribution to the vitality of the Secwepemc language."

"This funding from the Government of Canada will help us continue to bring our cultural content into the digital age, making it more accessible to a younger, wider audience," said George Kaliszewski, Executive Director of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. "By undertaking projects such as this, we are doing important work to preserve, record, perpetuate, and enhance the Secwepemc language, history, and culture."

The SCES is a non-profit organization based in Kamloops, British Columbia. Since its creation in 1983, it has been dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the language, culture, and history of the Secwepemc people.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $29,798 through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) Innovation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. The objective of this fund is to encourage and support innovative community-based language projects that use existing technology to revitalize and preserve Aboriginal languages and increase their use in community and family settings.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.

Contact Information: Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
Canadian Heritage
Media Relations